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Egypt opens border crossing to evacuate injured and foreign nationals from Gaza

Border control   -  
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MOHAMMED ABED/AFP or licensors


Seventy-six wounded Palestinians and 335 foreigners or dual-nationals were allowed to cross from the war-torn Gaza Strip for Egypt on Wednesday, an Egyptian official at the Rafah crossing said.

It is the first crossing of civilians allowed into Egypt from Gaza since Israel placed a "total siege" on the Palestinian territory after Hamas's deadly attack on October 7.

By 4:30 pm (1430 GMT), ambulances had transported 76 wounded Palestinians into Egypt and six buses took 335 foreign passport holders, the official told AFP, who was reached by phone in Ismailia.

The Egyptian authorities had said they would allow 90 wounded Palestinians and around 545 foreigners and dual nationals to cross on Wednesday.

"The Rafah terminal will open again on Thursday to allow the passage of more foreigners and dual citizens," a security source told AFP.

Four Italians were among the foreigners who left Gaza on Wednesday, Italy's Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said on X, formerly Twitter.

"I just spoke with the first four Italians to leave the Gaza Strip. They are tired but in good health, assisted by the Italian consul in Cairo. We continue to work to get everyone else out," he added.

A "first group" of five French nationals was also among those allowed to leave the besieged territory, France's foreign ministry said.

"We continue our efforts so that all our compatriots, our staff, and their families who wish to do so can leave Gaza as soon as possible," it added, noting concern for about 50 French nationals and their families.

On Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Congress there had been an estimated 1,000 people, including 400 Americans and their close relatives, stuck in Gaza seeking evacuation.

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